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East Lansing’s Recycling Contamination Reduction Project enters outreach phase

Recycle Bin
City of East Lansing
The city of East Lansing is launching innovative technology to help residents recycle better.

A recycling project in East Lansing aimed at reducing contamination is gearing up for resident outreach.

East Lansing’s Recycling Contamination Reduction Project launched in late 2022. It uses camera technology on recycling trucks to identify objects that shouldn't be placed in recycling bins.

This new phase of the project is aimed at teaching residents about the city’s recycling requirements.

Cliff Walls, the city’s environmental specialist, says if contaminants are found in a resident’s cart, they will send out a postcard with feedback on what items are and are not recyclable.

“Hopefully it’s successful, we will see a reduction in the amount of contamination,” Walls said.

Residents can also learn what they can, and cannot, recycle through the “Recycle Coach” mobile app.

Following the six-month trial of this project, Walls says there will be a determination of the future of this new technology.

“We have a lot to learn from this project and I think it will have a lot of insights,” Walls said.

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